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Who's Responsibility is SPAG?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by mathmos76, May 24, 2011.

  1. <font size="2">Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar - can anyone fill me in on the historical context here? I'm doing a self-directed MA module with the above title as I want to look into how/why it's basically been removed from specifications. When was the phrase first coined? Was it ever 'in', when did it begin to go 'out'? What are your feelings on it?</font><font size="2">(Hope to god my SPAG was AOK!!)</font>
     
  2. <font size="2">Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar - can anyone fill me in on the historical context here? I'm doing a self-directed MA module with the above title as I want to look into how/why it's basically been removed from specifications. When was the phrase first coined? Was it ever 'in', when did it begin to go 'out'? What are your feelings on it?</font><font size="2">(Hope to god my SPAG was AOK!!)</font>
     
  3. Joannanna

    Joannanna New commenter

    SPAG has reappeared on GCSE English Lit spec this year as Quality of Written Communication. The previous spec didn't seem to require the essays to be written well whereas now it seems to be counted again.
     
  4. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    Thats It!!! No More bl00dy acronyms!!! I cant cope!!!

    IMHO SPAG is the responsibility of primary school teachers. Simples
     
  5. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    I quite agree, however there was a time when children DID leave primary school with those abilities. It would be lovely if students came to secondary school able to write legibly and construct a paragraph that makes sense.

    (By the way, no full stop needed after brackets close [​IMG] - "all teachers, all of the time")
     
  6. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    Apologies for the brackets thing, clearly my primary school teachers didnt do their job properly [​IMG].
    As for evidence...
    Talk to anyone who has been teaching in secondary school for more than 10 years.
     
  7. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    Oh **** forgot the ' in didn't.
     
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Like me, you mean? Started teaching in secondary in 1980 and have taught in 6 secondary schools in three different areas of England.
    It's a complete myth that there was some golden age when all children left primary school able to read and write perfectly - not that I'd imagine we'd all agree on a definition of 'perfectly' for an 11 year old, in any case.
    When I wernt up to secondary school in 1969 I attended a huge (2000 pupils) comprehensive which had four streams - those in the bottom stream (some of whom were in my tutor group) were rather poor readers and writers, as I discovered on only the first day when we all had to copy out our timetables.
     
  9. Could agree more MM. This country has never had a better quality of education. Exam grades are going up because the children are being taught by better trained teachers and schools are staffed amd led by ever more capable and committed people.
    Many years ago the people who are now carping went to very good schools in very good areas and have never even stepped foot, let alone tried to teach, children who come from ever increasingly chaotic houses with more problematic parents who have little repsect for us.
    Rant over.
     
  10. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    I think it's the responsibility of all teachers to contribute, but we have to be realistic and understand that some teachers are better able to do this than others, as unfortunately not all teachers have the competence themselves. I've worked with a line manager who knew his English was weak - he was sensible enough to get any letters he sent checked by other people. When literacy posters were distributed for display around one secondary, the head of music grabbed the one about practice/practise for the music department office!
    I was someone who did leave primary school with extremely good SPAG skills - "perfect" according to my year 6 teacher, although I think using that word was unwise. In fact, it was not until sixth form that I discovered that I was spelling receive incorrectly, and I'm very grateful to the teacher who pointed it out. It took me a good while to unlearn and relearn it. I don't know whether other teachers had noticed but not bothered to correct it, or whether it had just never cropped up in anything that got marked.
    I agree that to correct every spelling in some pupils' work would be unhelpful, and might distract from the subject matter: rules of thumb about how much to correct are probably sensible. Where I tend to feel at a loss is with students whose English is very poor. If they struggle to spell anything, am I better to minimise the writing I require them to do, and concentrate on my subject material? That means I'm not really helping the English department with those students, but really basic language skills are probably best left to the experts.
     
  11. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    (I know this thread is old, but I'll chip in anyway.)
    As an English teacher, the only SPaG-related subject I can comment on is GCSE English Literature (as SPaG is an integral part of GCSE English (Language)).
    I don't know when SPaG was introduced to GCSE English Literature at all. It may have been there in the first specifications (first examined 1988) and the second ones (first examined 1994), but I'm too young to remember. It was definitely in the third (first examined 1998). It was removed from the fourth specifications (first examined 2004). A separate column for it in the mark scheme returned in the fifth specifications (first awarded 2012), but no marks. The marks return from 2013 (yes, mid-way through a specification!).
    Other subjects will have similar timelines.
    It's interesting about the equivalent at A Level being quality of written communication (QWC). When the first talk of reviving these marks at GCSE, it was made clear by Ofqual that the marks would be for QWC, not SPaG, as the reasons for removing SPaG in 2004 were still valid, but QWC would solve these.
    As it happens, this plan was quietly dropped and the marks returned under the SPaG brand. The descriptors are even the same as the pre-2004 ones!
     

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